Top 25 Greatest Christian Rock Bands of All Time

Christian music has come a long way since the first time Jesus followers dared to strap on electric guitars despite initial resistance from the conservative majority. As time has passed, the Christian sub-culture has warmed to the idea, and forming a rock band under the steeple is generally considered acceptable these days.

Because Christian rock was late on the train, it has taken significant time for the genre to “catch up.” Bands have popped up everywhere attempting to communicate the gospel in creative ways, but are typically lambasted for looking like posers or trying way too hard to sound legit. But some bands have managed to dodge criticism and ascend to greatness, still holding true to their Christian roots while catering to listeners beyond the devout.

What factors specifically makes these bands distinct as “the greatest”?

Innovation: If you hear these bands on the radio, you actually think of their unique sound rather than “some Christian band.”
Pioneer: Most of these guys did something unprecedented in the Christian music industry.
Longevity: Your pops might have listened to a few of these groups in high school. Longevity means you have something good going.
Album sales: Millions of records sold can’t be wrong.

25. Red

If you search for “Red” on Google, you’ll likely stumble upon the multi-platinum album released by Taylor Swift.  If you dig a little bit further, however, you’ll discover a unique group of guys brandishing a scorching sound and near-operatic vocal arrangements.

Red has a fair following in the post-hardcore scene, both in Christian circles and beyond, and they’re still relatively fresh on the market. Time will determine their worth as more similar sounding bands come about.

24. Demon Hunter

As the name likely permits, Demon Hunter is a thrash-and-growl type of band that certainly appeals to any metal fan. Often times their dark persona and punch-to-the-face delivery confuses Christian music fans, causing one to wonder if they’re really serious about Christ or even remotely friendly people, but I’m sure they’re nice guys.

Their mild success can be attributed to their longevity in the market as well as being a pioneering force for hardcore Christian metal bands.

23. Family Force 5

The brothers of FF5 refuse to be pigeon-holed into a genre, but one thing is for certain: they’re a little quirky.

They have a remarkably large library of party anthems for being branded in the Christian market, and they’d, in some ways, rather not be associated with that label, which explains their inclination to write borderline secular albums.  This fence-walking is actually hurting their sales on both sides; FF5 looks like posers to the mainstream, and compromise Christians to the other. Nonetheless, they’re innovative and popular enough to make this list.

22. The O.C. Supertones

Riding the ska trend, the O.C. Supertones managed to accrue a rabid following in the late 1990s, surging into popularity as a headlining Christian act. Of course, once ska became old hat, the brass grew quieter and they fell off in the mid-2000s.   They’ve made a recovery recently, which might be worth some attention. However, their best days are behind them, and they belong in the hall of Christian history as the greatest Christian ska band ever.

21. Delirious?

It’s difficult to ignore the British influence (Oasis, anyone?), but Delirious? undeniably stands alone as the biggest overseas Christian rock group in the U.S. Their memorable and powerful rock ballads and anthems resonated with the alt-rock hungry generation of the late 90s, meanwhile stretching the boundaries of what’s considered palatable in worship music.

20. Project 86

Few bands work harder than Project 86 in the Christian industry, and their longevity has proven their weight. Frontman Andrew Schwab could be regarded as a Christian version of Trent Reznor — artistic, innovative, and incredibly articulate.

For being under the radar for nearly their entire existence, they’ve sold a surprising number of albums and toured for over a decade, making them one of the greater hard rock groups. Few bands sounded quite like them when they started out, and many have attempted to copy them since.

19. Casting Crowns

I confess, I waffled with keeping this group on a list of greatest Christian rock bands, but apart from the KLOVE hits, the level of punch Casting Crowns produces in their compositions is surprising.  They barely qualify on this list because of their sound and CCM leanings, but their impression on Christian music has been remarkable. 5 million records sold in the SoundScan era shows their staying power.

18. BarlowGirl

All female bands are not new, but nothing like BarlowGirl had been seen in the Christian music industry when they released their debut album in 2004. Borrowing from the sound of  Heart, Veruca Salt, and occasionally the Bangles, BarlowGirl renewed our interest in female driven acts and provided a refreshing alternative to the princess-style contemporary female artists dominating Christian radio.

17. Switchfoot

Many might argue that this group’s positioning on the list is quite low, and I agree to some extent.  The key difference between Switchfoot and other bands, however, has been their desire to shirk association with Christian music (despite such stations continuing to play their material relentlessly) and their inherent lack of pioneering traits.

Unquestionably, Jon Foreman’s vocal delivery and the band’s universal songwriting style are distinctions, alongside over 3 million records sold, but in terms of Christian music, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.

16. Thousand Foot Krutch

Canadian act TFK appeared in the late 90s brandishing a nu-metal sound, unheard of and a bit abrasive to the decade’s Christian music trends, but they imitated the likes of popular bands Linkin Park and 311 well enough to draw a small underground following. Their sophomore album, however, truly put them on the map as a distinct Christian band worth listening to.  Trevor McNevan and company have continued hanging around, touring heavily and rocking faces off with hard-hitting guitar riffs and lyrics warranting a call to action.

15. Kutless

When Kutless began, their sound was raw, unpolished and completely different from anything on Christian radio at the time. Subsequently, they got serious attention with slow-jams like “Run” and “Sea of Faces”, decided to put out a worship album, and have ridden the CCM train since.  Kutless still rocks on occasion, but their sound has morphed into something else not so much different than what the other big tuna artists in the market are doing.  Nonetheless, they’ve made their impression, and their record sales prove it.

14. Superchick

Before Superchick arrived on the scene, Gwen Stefani’s No Doubt had already paved the road for their type of sound, but Superchick hit the ground running and acquired momentum immediately.  Blending hip-hop, alt-rock, and a little bit of funk, they gave Christian radio an alternative, and people liked it. To date, there is no Christian equivalent that has found the same success.

13. Audio Adrenaline

Audio A was a big favorite in the mid- to late-90s, featuring a polished straight-up rock and roll sound that captivated youth who had grown tired of hearing the same old stuff. Indeed, Audio Adrenaline isn’t distinct in the general terms of rock music, but their success proves their solid songwriting and guitar prowess is catchy enough for everyday listeners to hold onto.

Kevin Max, formerly of the legendary dc Talk, re-emerged to head the band for a time and the group has been kick-started anew, much to the delight of old school fans.

12. David Crowder Band

While David Crowder attended Baylor, he inspired a generation of college peers to renew their fervor for worship with a somewhat funky, dynamic style while maintaining ardent focus on God. They continued on to stir up millions more around the country with their brand of rock worship music for over a decade before splitting up in early 2012. If you’re a Christian, you’re likely to own one of their albums and have a few of their tracks on repeat on occasion.

11. Third Day

Southern rockers Third Day have enjoyed immeasurable success in the context of Christian music over their long tenure, consistently headlining and churning out music to satisfy various fans’ tastes. Unlike many of the bands on this list, Third Day’s lineup has remained almost entirely intact for several years, which explains how they’ve been able to keep their distinct sound unaltered. Mac Powell’s signature voice has warranted imitations in jest, sometimes on live radio.

 

10. Flyleaf

This hard rock act rose to stardom in the late 2000s, and Christian music fans didn’t see it coming until Flyleaf hoisted up their RIAA Platinum award and showed their stuff as a legitimate force in the mainstream.  They’ve had to fend off being branded a “Christian band” to maintain universal appeal, but their talent has kept them at a level ahead of their peers on both sides of the fence. Former lead singer Lacey Sturm really made this band work; they’ve continued with a replacement, but we’ll have to wait and see if Flyleaf will stay its course.

9. Jars of Clay

These guys flooded the scene in the mid-90s (see what I did there?) and have kept it up for two decades. Still a huge favorite for many Christian listeners, Jars of Clay started out with five consecutive gold records, but their sales have slowed slightly as artists like Jeremy Camp and Casting Crowns have taken over the throne as the big contemporary/rock crossovers. Their earlier acoustic rock material still seems fresh; their debut album resonates as one of the best works Christian music has to offer.

8. Stryper

There was a time when big hair and stretchy pants made for a great rock image. Recognizing this, Stryper donned the glam rock persona and put together a string of under-the-radar hits in the 80s to establish a legacy as the first real crossover success. It required major image compromise at the time, but the Christian rockers did what they had to do to get noticed (and get some sales), and it worked.  Stryper is somewhat of a joke to most rockers, but their mark is undeniable.

7. Underoath

In an era when Christian hardcore acts were just getting noticed, Underoath showed up with a fiery crossover act that generated plenty of attention and equated to two gold albums. Christian listeners were shocked that a Christian group could produce quality metal, and non-Christian listeners were shocked that a quality metal group could be a group of Christians. Aaron Gillespie’s impassioned vocal delivery and Spencer Chamberlain’s growl and howl complemented scorching guitars beautifully on their crown work, “They’re Only Chasing Safety”.

6. Skillet

Industrial/tech rock turned symphonic metal act Skillet has seen remarkable success recently, but it’s no fluke.  Skillet boasts a rigorous touring schedule and high intensity shows, making them one of the hardest working bands in the business, Christian or otherwise. Their determination to be the best at what they do while keeping their integrity intact makes them a high caliber group worth all of the praise they’re given. It doesn’t hurt that the frontman and his wife are the hardest rocking spouses of all time, and — if I might be so bold to say so — their drummer is the best female drummer I can think of.

 

5.  dc Talk

Some might say dc Talk is the most talented band on this list — and they’d be right. Just take a look at what the trio has done since splitting up in 2000; the group had so much star power, they might have simply imploded if they remained together. In their relatively short tenure, they produced three platinum records at a time when there were few alternatives for Christian music available.

4. Petra

If you ask any successful Christian rock act where they got the idea to start a band that attempts to glorify God, they must point to Petra. At the same time Jesus Music was blooming on the west coast in the early 70s, Petra assembled and set a standard for Christian rock music that few bands could muster to duplicate until much later. They’re like the Rolling Stones of Christian music — they just don’t quit. I think they’re still going at it, in fact.

However, despite their longevity and lack of precedent, Petra has managed to change band members more often than some of us get a tuneup.

3. Relient K

What makes Matt Thiessen and company distinct as the #3 Christian rock band of all time has to do with their development over time, their unbelievable songwriting capabilities, and overall innovative traits that no other band on this list can rival. Featuring pop and punk savvy, appealing to unbelievers despite religious undertones, never taking themselves too seriously, and avoiding cliche musical ruts, Relient K has grabbed the attention of critics as a standalone group . Rather than operating as a “Christian band”, Relient K shows us what it’s like to be alive and struggling to live for God in ways no other Christian group does.

2. P.O.D.

The only bands that spending any significant time on MTV that brandished (or even remotely flashed) Jesus by the late 90s were dc Talk and Jars of Clay. P.O.D. decided to fix that with their album “The Fundamental Elements of Southtown.” Their subsequent record made them regulars on mainstream radio. 12 million album sales later, they’re slated as the #2 greatest Christian rock band of all time.

What’s remarkable is that no one really sounds like P.O.D. Their work seems effortless, yet complex, introspective, and authentic. Meanwhile, they’ll rock your face off, if you’re not careful.

1. Newsboys

Who else belongs at the top? If you’re a Christian, you know who the Newsboys are, have at least one of their songs memorized, and likely have a strong opinion about whether Peter Furler or Michael Tait makes a better lead singer.

Even retooled, the Newsboys found success as the quintessential Christian band, rock or otherwise, and have shown  consistent, unmatched prowess both on stage and in the studio.

 

Honorable mention: Hawk Nelson, Disciple, The Afters

Do you agree with this list? Write your comments below!

Have your say!

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72 Comments

  1. If you push Switchfoot down the list for not being as overtly Christian then I would push Newsboys way down my list, partly because aside from a couple of catchy tunes I don’t care for their music and also their lyrics lack any theological depth.

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    • Thank you for the comment.
      Honestly, I can’t stand the Newsboys either — I’m with you there.
      The criteria for this list is at the beginning of the post; what pushes Newsboys to the top is the four factors listed, not necessarily what type of music I prefer, or talent in general. What other band has lasted as long as they have, selling as many records as they have, and pioneering a distinct sound in Christian music that pretty much every CCM band has aspired to duplicate since? If you take away any bias, none.
      Sure, I’d probably put the likes of Relient K or Skillet at the top if I had it my way, but it’s hard to argue that the Newsboys belong at #1. Switchfoot’s rank, I admit, was lower because they don’t make outright confessions of Jesus in their music — they leave their audience guessing — and because their sound is pretty vanilla. If you’re at a Newsboys concert, on the other hand, you know what you’re getting, which is why they keep headlining Christian music festivals.

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  2. Yay! Newsboys are number one they are freakin awesome and Michael Tait’s voice is so amazing so was Peter Furler’s voice.

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  3. I’m actually starting to get mad that none of these lists ever have Mercyme. I mean come on, Word of God Speak holds the record for staying #1 on the Christian billboard for the longest time. Not to mention other great songs like I can only imagine and Greater

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    • Thanks for checking out the list.
      I had to make a judgment call with the exclusion of MercyMe on the premise of genre and innovation. If I included MercyMe, I would have to include contemporary acts like Phillips Craig and Dean, 4Him, Michael W. Smith, Chris Tomlin and Avalon. I had to draw the line somewhere, and while MercyMe has the occasional rock tune, their sound often lingers in the CCM/pop category like the aforementioned bands, none of which would be considered rock bands. But to validate your point, MercyMe would be in the top 5 Christian acts of all time, alongside the likes of Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant. It’s just hard for me to qualify them as a rock band.

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    • I suppose my assessment is somewhat subjective, but there ya go. 😉

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  4. Disciple should be within the top 5…hands down.

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    • Oh, I love me some Disciple. 😉 They just haven’t really sold enough records. If this were titled “Best 25 Christian Rock Bands”, they’d be top 10 for sure, in my opinion. Alas, this is science. Or something. Haha. Thank you for checking out the list!

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  5. Holy Soldier? Guardian? Tourniquet? White Cross? Bride? Any of these ring a bell, or am I just old?

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    • I agree… also Whiteheart… yeah, we are just old… :). Newer: NeedtoBreathe, Plumb.

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    • And Bloodgood! I’m with ya!

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  6. I see it a bit different. I love Casting Crowns and DCB but they don’t really belong on a Christian Rock List. Third Day is listed way too low. And Reliant K way too high. Two bands that DEFINITELY should have made this list is Pillar and Disciple.

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    • I love both of those bands, but their record sales didn’t really match up, and I felt like they sounded a lot like other bands in their era. Pillar is really just a poor man’s P.O.D. 😉

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  7. Cool list. I would have went DC Talk #1. Seventh Day Slumber and Pillar could have been in the 20-25 range. They shouldn’t be on the list but a band I loved was Justified. Also All Together Seperate for the song paradigm alone would be on my list.

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  8. Petra should be at the top of the list their music is the best sounding and the songs have the most theological depth in their lyrics

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    • Yes!!!

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    • You got that right! Petra had the perfect balance of rock, message, and ministry.Something I wish all of today’s bands should follow.

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  9. Newsboys albums are way closer to what called as christian songs
    Its Outstanding

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  10. Where is Anberlin? As far as I’m concerned, they are (were) more talented and popular than most of this list. They are most definitely better than Project 86, Superchick, Barlowgirl, and Delirious? in my opinion. Maybe this list is more subjective than I thought…

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    • I don’t know how I missed Anberlin. I’ll revisit this list and make the appropriate edit — they’re certainly worth consideration. Sorry for making you believe this to be a wholly subjective list. Obviously, it’s hard to completely eliminate my opinion (which I’m nonetheless allowed), but it’s another thing to overlook a band entirely.

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  11. What Delirious should be top 3 come on now they have a huge catalog of hits!

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  12. Third Day #1 all the way! Love that band.

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  13. Stryper should be number 1 without them or rez band Petra or Phil keaggy there would not be these band

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  14. I guess non of you ever listened to White heart. Rick Florians vocals were over the top, coupled with harmonics from Rick and Mark even added even more depth, Billy Smiley, Mark Gersmehl and Brian Wootens guitar work was unmatched by any of the groups mentioned above, Hey half of the groups on this list should not even be considered rock. I do agree with this list that Petra should be in second if not first place for the best. I love REZ, And almost all mentioned above, even the ones that only were put on by other posters. I feel that Kerry Livegren and AD should be in the top 5. I can see that this is mainly put together by a much younger generation than I, and should not be labeled as best 25 of all time, However what would I know I am just a 58 year old 35+ year rock guitarist.

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    • Have to completely agree with you here. Their catalog is huge, everything they did was Rock or better, tons of hits, tons of sales… Besides Stryper and Petra, they are one of my favorite Christian Rock Bands of all time.

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  15. It’s funny how people are telling you this list is wrong and must be your opinion when in fact they’re saying certain bands should be here instead (which is THEIR opinion!) anyway, thanks for introducing me to Red, I’ve clearly been under a rock.

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    • Haha. Thank you for your feedback! While I did use a mathematical system to rank these bands, yes, it’s still pretty opinionated.
      And I’m glad you got a chance to listen to Red. I encourage you to check out Effect Radio, which features a handful of these bands as well as some obscure ones, if you’re into the more aggressive types of rock. Namely, Wolves at the Gate, Random Hero, Bread of Stone, and Hearts Like Lions are awesome.

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      • Effect Radio rocks! Good call!

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  16. U2 is the biggest and loudest and most faithful Christian Rock band ever. Also not on this list, curiously, NeedToBreathe and the Fray.

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    • Oh brother.

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  17. Toby Mac?

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    • Although TobyMac isn’t really rock or a band, dc Talk is represented, so he’s on there for ya. =)

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  18. Excellent list! I don’t disagree with any of the bands here. Like other commenters I would like to have seen White Heart and Guardian on the list. I can only assume that Steve Taylor and Neal Morse were left out because you consider them solo artists and not bands. Rez Band would have been a logical inclusion, too. For pioneering, innovation and longevity, you could hardly have a better representative in CCM history than The Choir… Their sales are meager, of course.

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  19. I disagree with this list a lot. You are missing Anberlin, House of Heroes, and Fair. These three alone are way better than some of the bands listed.

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  20. Mxpx! They were one of the first to earn both Christian and secular listeners. This is powerful because it spreads God’s word to more than just believers. Mxpx are an excellent band and paved the way for all the other christian punk/indie bands who came after.

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  21. I would have Switchfoot higher on the list simply because their sound has evolved and changed so much throughout the years. I mean really, how many Christian bands use a sitar?

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  22. I’m very glad Skillet was in the top 10 and I do agree (mostly) with the list.

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    • And I also agree that Jen is the best female drummer that comes to mind. (I’m very much a panhead aka skillet fan)

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  23. this list is ok but red needs to be higher on the list, stryper third day and pod shouldnt be on this list, relient k i would put 9-13,skillet needs to be number 2 or at least 3 but 6?? really? and newsboys is a no duh at 1

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  24. Using pioneering as a factor, like them or not, Newsboys are so far from pioneers that it is likely they would not even make a list using that as criteria. Fitting all criteria, even though not performing and recording, Resurrection Band (Rez). Album sales, unique sound, longevity, all there. And doing what they did starting in an era when it was thought evil to do hard rock… Glenn Kaiser still performs blues rock, Christian, today…

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  25. Steve Taylor?!? STEVE TAYLOR?!? Sorry, any list without the godfather of intelligent, alternative Christian rock is… awful… sorry!

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  26. Where is Seventh Day Slumber? Those guys are amazing!! They truly proclaim and promote the name of Jesus!! They walk the walk and talk the talk. I know I’ve seen them in concert. Most mainstream Christian bands are in it for the money, not Jesus. And where is Rend Collective, We Are Messengers?

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  27. No group 1 crew come on man they should be number 1

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    • Well, it IS a list about *rock* bands 😛 Group 1 Crew’s not rock music.

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  28. Hi Guys.
    Taken in this list and have to admit the criteria at least makes it for me as a decent try and listing the best without bias. But I have to take issue on one band and give some insight on upcoming bands and what sort of impact they might have in the future
    DC talk should be at the top for their mastery of the genre. You do know what your getting when you listen to them and you know what they stand for. its been carried on to some extent by Newsboys. But their technical mastery leaves the Newsboys behind. in fact they were such a pinacle for me that they leave everyone standing. and I say that as new Entrant myself to the music scene as one who aspires to musical excellence but also as big an outreach impact for God as I can make it. If there is one set of individuals who can inspire you its DC talk. No one came close to the mix of talent and style like they did. Im just glad that mike Carries it on with the Newsboys even if not to the full extent they used to. Im also a little surprised that Isreal houghton didn’t make it for the impact he has had. OR larry Norman for that matter. and why forget U2 who don’t hide their faith any more and boy you can’t hide the impact they have had. like them or not.
    Looking to the future I like the impact that Gungor and Big daddy Weave Rend Collective who have a massive impact across the pond or Matt Redmond. better still Matt Maher, For king and Country. Lecrae. Sidewalk prophets. Tenth Avenue North.
    Need to breath. or Peter Furlers new band even. There is much to be excited about in the future. I am not necessarily a fan of all the ones i have mentioned but i do acknowledge the impact they are having or have had

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  29. Hi Guys. have taken a great interest in this article partly because I am entering this genre myself and an give some professional input on who i think should have been included and the what the future might hold. assuming iTunes and the like don’t ruin things for everyone by strangling the money it inevitably costs to make it.
    DC talk have long inspired many artists and for me should be at No1 for inovation. their unique style have never been matched in its entirety. but if we are looking at bands making an impact. what about U2. wow have they been there and done it. and made it very well known what they stand for without yet being shot down completely. I agree the Resurrection band should have had a mention too. far more so than Red who i do like but for Impact don’t make it for me. Larry Normans band way back started a lot of it. where is he and for the Uk why not include After The Fire. (whom I incidentally heard playing over the radio in the bank in Wilmington this afternoon) no one thought that Christian music could sound like that when they came on the scene and broke the mould for most. they may not have sold so many but they trailed a new way that others followed. ( their drummer on The Old Grey Whistle test became a top Police officer if you can believe that) and lastly Isreal Houghton. one of the most professional and biggest draw bands in the last 19 years consistently. again not quite my cup of tea. but i can’t deny their staying power.
    But what of the future.
    Gungor and LeCrae. (not my favourite but his impact is not to be denied). Big Daddy Weave. Tenth Avenue North. Sanctus Real.The Sidewalk Prophets the two Matts. Redmond and Maher. For King and Country. and Need to breath. Rend Collective who have been drawing enormous attention certainly over in Europe if not the States. But I suspect they are now. I can’t go on too long or you will fall asleep but its an exciting future ahead.

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  30. Disgraceful, not even a mention of Ashes Remain.

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  31. DeGarmo and Key for me!

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  32. Seriously? I know I’m late to this, but this is a HORRIBLE list. You really should be ashamed. Unless I read wrong this is a Christian Rick list. At least half of these are not rock. Some not even remotely close. Come on now…..

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    • Ok, that was a little mean so I’m sorry. Still. Unless I read the stuff wrong up top this list is not correct.

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      • What you forget is that Rock is an evolution. Rock over the years has gotten heavier and harder and thus its easy to forget that at one time bands such as the Beatles or the Moody Blues were once considered rock.

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  33. These are all painfully bad bands. The only good Christian music is bluegrass.

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  34. if this list was made after the afters new albumLive On Forever debut, Im sure they woulda been pretty high up there

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  35. Good read!
    I think I have a band who deserves at least a honorable mention. They had, and still have a large following. They’ve influenced at least two of the bands on this list (Relient K and Switchfoot, with Jon Foreman even going so far as crediting their success to this group), and ran in tight circles with a third (Supertones). They too are enjoying a reboot. Their music has been heard on mainstream radio and has even been occasionally featured on tv. While they’ve not broken and album sales records or been featured on any Billboard charts, their reboot album set a record at the time as the most successful Kickstarter project. They have a distinct sound, even from bands of their own type, and they have a very sharp lyrical writing technique. The only caveat I would place on them is that they no longer (in rebooted form) identify as a Christian group, although Christian messages and overtones are still prevalent.

    I am talking about Five Iron Frenzy.

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    • Oh, I’m in wholehearted agreement. Thank you for your comment! FiF is still rolling along, too — if I ever revise this list, they might show up due to longevity and their obvious innovation in Christian music. It was mostly the record sales that forced them off, for me.

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  36. guardian?

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    • Might seem like a weak argument, but their album sales are pedestrian, and they were kind of following in the steps of Stryper and Petra. Good call, though!

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  37. U2 being ignored in this list, just like Jesus would be, nowadays, … think what you want about it

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    • Its not that U2 is being ignored, its that for many many years Bono would not come out and just say they were a Christian band. Maybe this was due to a fear of rejection of the success that U2 has had that many other bands did not achieve. I will credit U2 that their lyrics (at least the once i’ve seen) have been wholesome with a Christian mindset but never really coming out and proclaiming the love of Christ. In their later years and more recent albums, they’ve added lots of Biblical references and Bono came out as a born again Christian during an interview with Focus on the Family. This isnt a completely fair reference but in early U2 reminds me a lot of Kansas. Was Kansas a Christian band. No. It was a rock band with Christian members. However look at what Kerry Livgrin and John and Dino Elefante became to the Christian music industry. So the question you have to ask yourself is as the title of this article was Top 25 Christian bands, can you really compare a band like U2 to a band like Petra?

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      • u2 are not even a christian band you should watch the video on youtube we sold our souls and the u2 part they are NOT christian at all

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  38. Red, demons hunter, and family force 5 are the only bands on here worth listening to. The rest I wouldn’t even classify as rock. Except stryper but they are hair metal

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    • Skillet isnt rock?

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    • The list is rock bands, not metal bands. I’m sorry you don’t agree with it. This is not a list of my personal favorite, but something fun I compiled based on statistics and general popularity. Meanwhile, I’ve heard plenty of people say Demon Hunter sounds ridiculous, and I would disagree, but that’s not my place. I know people that like Brussels sprouts, too.
      And all of these bands are rock bands by the classic definition. Whether you disagree with that or not is irrelevant.

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      • What do you define as “rock”? Newsboys, Casting Crowns, Third Day are in no means rock. I don’t know much of Jars of Clay or Delirious?, but from the bit I’ve heard they weren’t rock. DC Talk is a toss up. They do a bit of it all.
        I really wanna know how everyone ends up putting bands such as Casting Crowns as rock. Lifeway even had them listed under rock. Seriously, explain how you define rock. Louie Bellson basically invented the double bass and he isn’t considered rock because he had a double bass.

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  39. Lame list, in my opinion, Daniel Amos isn’t even on it. The Beatles are the best secular band in history and I’d place DA #1 of Christian bands. Did a millennial make this list or what?

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  40. sorry for me petra should be number one. none of them have the proper christian foundations that petra has plus petra has been around alot longer which would make them deeply rooted in christianity and they have proved it over and over………

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  41. Its hard to put a list of 25 best rock bands together when so many people have a different idea of what rock is. That being said, I definitely wouldn’t have some of these bands on here, and would add others. I don’t like the idea of longevity being on the list merely because the bands themselves change so much. Take the number 1 band on this list, the newsboys, I don’t think any of the current band members were in the original Newsboys. Popular doesn’t necessarily mean “best” either. I personally like a lot of bands that I would never think would be in a best ever list.

    My opinion, I would take out Casting Crowns, Superchick, Barlowgirl, David Crowder, and FF5. I really like most of these bands a lot, but I don’t deem them worthy of “all time best” lists.
    Some bands to think about would be Amberlin, Starfield, The Afters, Decypher Down, REZ band, Sanctus Real, Pillar.

    Oh and the OC Supertones as the best Christian ska band….no way. Five Iron Frenzy holds that title in my mind.

    Anybody remember Reality Check?

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  42. Thrice?? Where do they fall? Or mewithoutYou?

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  43. I think some of the best 90s era bands are missing. Plankeye and MxPx in particular stand out. But also Adam Again, Poor Old Lu, Starflyer 59.

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    • I agree. But you missed one of the most influential alternative/grunge bands that paved the way to transition Christian rock away from hair/glam (Petra/Carmen) and make it worth listening to The Prayer Chain.

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  44. I’m not sure where to begin. Let me start with a compliment for including so many awesome groups and leaving off so many of the cookie cutter groups out there today. (Allow me a minor detour to point all to google Messy Mondays “How to make a worship song…in 5 minutes or less”) That being said, I don’t know that I want to necessarily take any of these off as much as to possibly make the list longer. For starters how Tenth Ave North didn’t make this list is beyond me. They have flawlessly created true, from the heart, real, and unique music on every ‘album’ since the beginning. Now I will show my age and bring up a few names that if, for no other reason than they paved the way for every other group mentioned, and made it possible for them to even do what they do. Barry McGuire. Larry Norman. Randy Stonehill. Phil Keaggy. Second Chapter of Acts. LAMB. DeGarmo & Key. Fireworks. Now for the obscure but NEED to be included: Ark Angel. The Brave. (why they only did one is beyond me) Mark Heard. (CS Lewis with a guitar) I did see Kerry Livegrin in one response so kudos there. Now a side note on two bands mentioned and my only question is – which one? Newsboys and Audio Adrenaline. Amazing early stuff. Recent stuff- not so much. So by putting them on the list I would say only if you mean their early stuff. More “recent” musicians – Nichole Nordeman is totally awesome. And what about these: All Star United, Vota, The Rocket Summer and Stellar Kart. So If you allow me all of them and I have to take others off and only go as far as 25 as of right now I’m not prepared to do that so I’ll say the list needs to be at least 40 of the greatest Christian Rock Bands/Groups/Singers.

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  45. I’ll show my age as well. Been listening to Christian Rock since 1983. If you are talking top Christian Rock of All time, some oldies that are missing, in my opinion, because this all about opinions, are DeGarmo and Key, Steve Taylor, WhiteHeart, Rez, Phil Keaggy, Randy Stonehill, Geoff Moore, and Margaret Becker. These bands / artists paved the way for rock as we know it today. Others I would throw out there are Barren Cross, WhiteCross, Bride and Saint. Top sales don’t mean much because as founders and pioneers of Christian music, they would not have sold as many albums, but they were very influential. If Red, Project 86 and Superchic, to name 3, are there, it’s a shame the ones above are not. But like I said all are entitled to their opinion.

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